by March 7, 2006 0 comments

If you want to deploy many machines, then it is a pain to
go from machine to machine with 4 CDs. Like RIS (Remote Installation Service) in
Windows, PCQLinux also offers you a similar remote installation facility via PXE
LAN booting. For this, you will require a DHCP server, Apache and TFTP server
running on PCQLinux 2006. 

Client not booting?
If your PC is not booting off the remote boot server, then two things could be wrong. Firstly, its network card may not be PXE boot enabled. If it is PXE enabled, check the BIOS to see whether the boot from network option is enabled 

Firstly, install PCQLinux 2006 completely. Then, on that
machine, make a folder named  /PCQLinux on root and copy all the contents
of the PCQLinux 2006 CDs in this folder. Remember that you are mounting the CDs
and copying the contents and not just copying the ISOs. While copying the files
from the CDs, you will be asked for permission to overwrite few files and

Once you have created a copy of the CDs on the machine, you
have to create a kick start file, which has answers to the questions asked
during the installation process.

To make this file, launch ‘kickstart’ from
Start>Systems, this will open a GUI Kickstart configurator interface.

Here, you can set pre-installation settings such as
keyboard type, language, time zone, mouse, display, root password, etc. Fill all
the entries according to your setup requirements and save the file. It saves a
file with name ks.cfg.

Copy this file to the location where you have copied the
PCQLinux 2006 files from the CD.

Host installer
In order to remotely install PCQLinux 2006 via HTTP, you have to configure
apache server to host the installer. To do this, launch Start>system>HTTP.
This will open an interface to configure the apache web server. Here, select the
main tab and give the IP address of the same machine, where you are hosting the
apache server. Next, select the ‘virtual host’ tab and select add new host
and double click the new virtual host you have created. This will open its
properties dialog. Here, under basic setup set the ‘document root directory’
to the location where you copied the PCQLinux 2006 CDs.

Use the Kickstart Configurator to create the file that will be used to answer the questions that are asked during PCQ Linux 2006 remote install.

In our case it is /pcqlinux. Now, from the same properties
window, click on the performance tab and add the directory of your PCQLinux 2006
installer that you have copied above. Once you are through with this, save the
settings by clicking the Ok button. After this, start apache server by issuing
this command.

#service httpd start

Now, open a web browser and check that the web server is
working properly. Make sure it displays the directory structure of the PCQLinux
20006 installer folder on the web page.

Configuring TFTP Server
TFTP stands for Trivial File Transfer Protocol, a simpler form of the File
Transfer Protocol (FTP).

The next step is to configure TFTP server on your installer
server in such a way that it can remotely boot another PC over a network. In
order to do this, open a terminal and issue the following commands.

# cp /pcqlinux/isolinux/* /tftpboot/linux-install/
# cp /tftpboot/linux-install/isolinux.cfg /tftpboot/linux-install/pxelinux.cfg/default

The above commands will copy all the boot files from the
folder where you have dumped the entire PCQLinux 2006 CDs to the TFTP server.

Now open /tftpboot/ linux-install/pxelinux.cfg /default
file in a text editor and change the following entries as follows

label linux
  kernel vmlinuz
append initrd=initrd.img ramdisk_size=8192 s=
label text

kernel vmlinuz

  append initrd=initrd.img text ramdisk_size=8192 ks=

(Here is the IP address of the hosting server,
where you have hosted the PCQLinux 2006 installer, you should change it
according to your settings).

After this you have to enable the TFTP server so that the
TFTP server

automatically gets started on booting the PCQLinux 2006
server. For doing this, run ‘setup’ command from the terminal. It will open
a CLI interface, here select ‘Services’ and from the list select ‘tftp’
by pressing space bar key and click the Ok button to save the settings .

Configure DHCP server 
Now, you have to configure the DHCP server on your installation server, so that
the diskless clients can get IP addresses from the RIS server and remotely boot
and start the PCQLinux 2006 installer. To do this open the /etc/dhcpd.conf file
and add the following lines as shown below.






option subnet-mask                     ;

option broadcast-address            ;

option domain-name-servers; #<-- RIS Server IP

option domain-name                            

# <--domain name
option option-128 code 128 = string;

option option-129 code 129 = text;

subnet netmask { 

        range dynamic-bootp; # <-- DHCP IP Ranage


“/linux-install/pxelinux.0”;  #<- Boot image File


Restart the DHCP server.

# Service dhcpd restart

With this your Remote Installation server is ready.

Boot the client machines from the Remote Installation
Server and you will get the Installer booting screen . Thereafter, and you can
start the installation process on it.

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